We decided to make a comparison between three prize-winning Tahitian vanilla pods, randomly selected (Quality Gourmet or Extra): Alain Abel (Haapape) on the left, Guy and Odette Tauatiti in the middle and Richard Bou-Kan-San on the right.You simply have to split the pod open lengthwise with the tip of a knife, being careful not to cut the opposite side of the pod. When it is open, divide it lengthwise in two halves : to do so, just pull one side from the other (like a paper sheet) so as to tear the pod.
Here is the inside of the vanilla pod produced by Richard Bou-Kan-San. Although his pods are thinner than the two others, they contain lots of seeds (“vanillons”).
Here is the quantity of seeds from the same pod (produced by Richard Bou-Kan-San) once they have been scraped out of the pod: the vanillons !
Here is the content extracted from both parts of the pod produced by Guy and Odette Tauatiti.
Here is the amount of seeds removed from both parts of the pod produced by Alain Abel.
We opened a “Haapape” pod.
In spite of the differences in term of initial size between those three vanilla pods, it is obvious that their content is more or less similar ! Now, it is time to taste those three types of “caviar” !
Here is the inside of two pods Quality A3, one from Mexico and one from India (the two halves of the Indian pod are in the middle)!
You can see in the detail Mexican vanilla seeds.
To put it in a nutshell, the pod is nothing but a case (a sheath, in botanists’ vocabulary), and the treasure is inside ! The latter is the reason why there are such differences in term of price, between the various vanilla sorts proposed on our website.
Don’t forget to cut your empty pods into pieces that will be wonderful in your culinary preparations. The fatty oils present inside the pods will infuse your preparations with their subtle aromas, other than vanillin, which is concentrated in the seeds (vanillons).